MUSCAT – Hackers on Sunday targeted the website of Oman’s official news agency, singling out and mocking Algeria’s newly re-elected president Abdelaziz Bouteflika as a handicapped “dictator”.
Oman News Agency said its website had been hacked and that “false” reports were posted on the site.
The hackers reportedly distorted a news story about a letter from Oman’s Sultan Qaboos to Bouteflika congratulating him for securing a fourth term in Thursday’s presidential election.
In the false letter, the Omani leader described Bouteflika as a “handicapped” president of the “dictatorship” of Algeria, according to newspapers in the Gulf and North Africa.
He also wished Bouteflika a “10th tenure” as a president, in a sarcastic reference to the Algerian leader’s 15 years in power, the reports said.
The letter was removed from ONA’s website.
ONA apologized to its clients, saying it continues to publish stories that agree with the sultanate’s policy of “mutual respect with brotherly and friendly states”.
Bouteflika, 77, was re-elected with more than 80 percent of the vote despite having suffered a stroke last year that prevented him from campaigning in person.